Add making near-weekly trips to Florida to the U.S. president's list of essential duties. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, asked Monday if President Trump would consider cutting back on weekend trips to his Mar-a-Lago resort in order to save taxpayer money, claimed the trips are "part of being president." "Presidents always travel," Spicer said.
Spicer said it was a "vast reach" to suggest Trump's trips should be curbed in light of his budget blueprint released last week, which proposes steep cuts to federal programs like Meals on Wheels in order to offset a huge boost in defense and security spending. Thus far, taxpayers have paid an estimated $3.3 million for Trump's trips to what Spicer calls the "Winter White House." Quartz reported Meals on Wheels "could feed 5,967 seniors for a year for that amount."
Sean Spicer says Trump's frequent trips to Mar-a-Lago "is part of being president" https://t.co/cv7LcDrLvn
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 20, 2017
When pressed about the golf outings Trump is reportedly taking on these trips down south, Spicer noted Trump's rounds of golf are about more than just golf. Spicer explained that Trump's golf games are different than former President Barack Obama's — which Trump repeatedly criticized — because of how Trump manages to "use the game of golf" to "help U.S. interests." Spicer noted Trump frequently golfs with foreign leaders — something Obama did too:
Spicer just said Trump playing golf is diff than Obama playing golf because Trump is playing w/ key leaders. Here's who Obama played with pic.twitter.com/6ki6c5uiYU
— Yashar (@yashar) March 20, 2017
Asked if the press should be briefed on Trump's golfing if so many important meetings are allegedly happening on the greens, Spicer argued Trump is "entitled to a bit of privacy at some point." Becca Stanek
The Democrats unveiled a brand new economic plan Monday, one intended to consolidate the party's message as one that favors the middle class. Titled "A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future," the plan is the Democrats' attempt to embrace a progressive agenda in the hopes that it will broaden the party's appeal.
"Democrats will show the country that we're the party on the side of working people," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) wrote in a New York Times op-ed published Monday. Schumer specifically called out the antitrust laws that "allow huge corporations to merge, padding the pockets of investors but sending costs skyrocketing for everything from cable bills and airline tickets to food and health care."
The Democrats' proposal details several specific sectors in which the party wants to increase competition to fight for the little guy. On the list? Craft breweries:
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) July 24, 2017
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) revisited the Congressional baseball practice shooting in his new ad for his Senate campaign. The 30-second spot, entitled "Second Amendment," kicks off with the sound of gunshots and people screaming, "Get down." "June 14: A Bernie Sanders supporter fires on Republican Congressmen," flashes across an otherwise black screen, as audio from the incident plays. "Mo Brooks gives his belt as a tourniquet to help the wounded."
The ad then flips from the incident in which a gunman fired at Republicans gathered for a morning baseball practice to the response of the "liberal media." A clip is played of Brooks, who was at the baseball practice, being asked whether the shooting changes his "views on the gun situation in America." "The second amendment, the right to bear arms, is to help ensure that we always have a republic. So, no, I'm not changing my position on any of the rights that we enjoy as Americans," Brooks says, as patriotic music begins to play.
Four people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), were injured in the shooting. Scalise remains in serious condition.
Watch Brooks' ad below. Becca Stanek
Jared Kushner denies Russia collusion, insists his father-in-law won because he 'had a better message'
After a closed-door meeting Monday with the Senate Intelligence Committee, Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, delivered a brief statement outside of the White House. "Let me be very clear: I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so," Kushner said, echoing the contents of an 11-page statement he submitted to the House and Senate intelligence committees that was released earlier Monday. Kushner added that he has had "no improper contacts" and has "not relied on Russian funds."
Kushner also used the opportunity to insist that his father-in-law did not win the election because of a boost from the Russians. "Donald Trump had a better message and ran a smarter campaign, and that is why he won," Kushner said. "Suggesting otherwise ridicules those who voted for him."
Watch Kushner's statement below. Becca Stanek
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) July 24, 2017
President Trump on Monday ordered Associated Press reporter Catherine Lucey to be "quiet" after she asked him a question about health care. Lucey was shouting out questions to Trump as he posed for a photo with White House interns.
Lucey's first question was whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions — whom Trump deemed "beleaguered" in a tweet earlier Monday — should resign. Trump responded by quite literally rolling his eyes. "They're not supposed to do that," he told the interns. The press had reportedly been "unexpectedly summoned" to observe the photo session.
Then, Lucey asked for an update on Senate Republicans' plan to repeal ObamaCare. "Quiet," Trump said, evoking laughter from the interns.
Watch it below. Becca Stanek
Trump rolls his eyes when asked if Sessions should resign; tells reporter to “be quiet” when asked about health carepic.twitter.com/terMPUDSlz
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) July 24, 2017
On Monday, newly minted White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci announced the return of televised briefings. "The TV cameras are back on," Scaramucci tweeted.
In his introductory appearance at Friday's press briefing following the news that Sean Spicer was resigning as White House press secretary, to be succeeded by Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Scaramucci said he'd "have to talk to the president" about resuming on-camera briefings. On CNN on Sunday, he said his "personal opinion" was that "we should put the cameras on."
The program that spawned your works of art in elementary school computer lab is getting the ax. Microsoft Paint has been relegated to the "features that are removed or deprecated" list in the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, The Guardian reported, meaning that the image-editing application has been tagged by Microsoft as "not in active development and might be removed in future releases."
Microsoft Paint has been around since Windows 1.0, which was released in 1985. The new frontier of Microsoft art is Paint 3D, which was introduced in April. Wired noted that while the apps have a name in common, "the new 3D version works in a very different way and doesn't resemble the original in pretty much any way."
It's been fun, Paint. Becca Stanek
Americans are evenly divided over whether President Trump should be impeached, USA Today/iMediaEthics poll results released Monday reveal. While 42 percent believe impeachment is appropriate, exactly 42 percent say it isn't. In another even split, the same survey found 34 percent of Americans would be upset about such an impeachment, and another 34 percent would not.
Though impeachment does not necessarily entail removal from office, as in the case of former President Bill Clinton, more than a third of those surveyed — 36 percent — said they think it likely or certain Trump will not complete his first term. There, as with the impeachment questions, partisanship is amply evident: Just 1 in 10 Republicans doubt Trump will finish out the first four years.